As of Tuesday, June 19, 2018
If there’s one thing we don’t like to see, it’s teachers — kindergarten teachers — in tears at a school board meeting because their students are out of control.
Essentially, the Dallas School Board was told that, while the teachers can put up with biting, kicking and turning over tables — what? — they can’t help the children who are exhibiting “extreme behavior” and need mental health assistance.
To address the situation, principals in Dallas elementary schools are adding physical education to the day. If we take a look at Eagle Mountain Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas, this may the perfect start to a great solution.
While we know physical movement won’t solve all mental health disorders, we do know that people — particularly kids — need to move. At Eagle Mountain, teachers were concerned about adding four PE periods in the school day, worried they would not have enough time to teach all the things required. As the program went on, teachers found that kids were ahead of the curve rather than behind it.
We believe that kids should be kids, and a big part of that is learning through play.
When the pent-up energy in the body is expelled, it is much easier to have a calm, focused brain.
We know more needs to be done to help our kindergarteners — and our teachers — but are glad to see adding more PE as a first step. We hope other schools in our county follow suit, even if 5-year-olds aren’t exhibiting social and emotional issues.
We know budgets are tight — and they will get tighter as demands on schools increase. We know that physical education has taken a back seat with other forms of expression such as art and music. We owe our kids to find ways to bring those things back.